Machado de Assis died 115 years ago, but he is more alive than any other Brazilian writer. The legacy of the deceased author, much like bossa nova or Pelé, conveys to the world the utopian identity we so aspire to: the creative and unabashed appropriation that turns the culture of major hegemonic centers into something unique, explosive, and Brazilian.
Some recent examples attest to this timeless Machadian fascination. In 2020, a new translation of "Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas" in the United States sold out within a day. Last year, two acclaimed Brazilian novels transported the writer into the dilemmas of the 21st century ("A Vida Futura" by Sérgio Rodrigues and "Homem de Papel" by João Almino).
In September this year, Portuguese Ricardo Araújo Pereira launched a humor podcast whose title, "Coisa Que Não Edifica Nem Destrói," is taken from Brás Cubas' definition for his memoirs; and in late October, a conference in Rome, "Machado de Assis: A Complexidade de um Clássico," brought together researchers from Brazil, the United States, France, England, Portugal, and Germany.
In general, the affirmation of his black heritage has opened new interpretative paths in the last two decades.
Tying all these points together, the writer is also the subject of the country's main editorial project of the year. The Todavia publishing house, in partnership with the Itaú Cultural institute, has just released a collection with all the books Machado published during his lifetime.